What is Acupuncture?
The intent of acupuncture is first to promote health and alleviate pain and suffering, and second to provide an effective method whereby disease can be prevented. The methods whereby this is accomplished, though it may seem strange and mysterious to many has been time tested over thousands of years and continues to be validated today.
The prospective from which an acupuncturist views health and sickness hinges on a detailed understanding of the bodies physical and energetic systems in relationship with one another rather than being autonomous systems. Our diagnostic methods of pulse reading, tongue observation, and palpation of channels, abdomen, and acu-points all provide the practitioner with a detailed understanding of how our bodies systems are working together and what needs to be done if they are not.
The acupuncturist is able to help the body heal itself by re-organizing or re-patterning energetic cycles that have become pathological for some reason. We all have had the feeling like we were stuck in a rut, even if we aren’t having physical signs and symptoms. Acupuncture shows the body what needs to be done to re-calibrate itself so that we naturally move towards a more balanced and sustainable way of being and living.
How does acupuncture work?
The mechanics of acupuncture involves placing small, thin needles at strategic locations throughout the body. When people think of acupuncture the concept that most people have heard something about is that of “Qi”. Qi is sometimes spelled in different ways but always refers to the same thing. Qi is often translated as vital energy or life force. In truth, to study the nature of qi is to study the nature of the universe. Energetically qi is what makes things happen. In modern day terms qi can be likened to bio-electric currents. Within our bodies are numerous energetic and physiological functions that are all connected together through a network of interconnecting patterns of both structure and function. Yet these patterns are only the pathways, the framework for things to happen within. Qi is what circulates through the patterns. As qi circulates the pattern comes to life, which enables that pattern to properly govern its contextual responsibilities in the body. In simple terms when qi is moving there is life, when its stops we die. During an acupuncture treatment the practitioner chooses specific points which will effectively re-structure the pattern and re-organize the way the qi moves through that pattern – the end result of all this is that you are feeling much better.
Why use Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs?
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are effective in treating a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses, the following is a short list:
- Breech babies
- Labor induction
- Traumatic injuries
- Low energy
- Digestive disorders
- High Cholesterol
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Auto-immune disorders
- Menstrual problems
- Acid reflux
- Chronic Fatigue
- Painful periods
- Skin problems
- Oncological support
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weight reduction
Chinese medicine has much to offer those who are wishing to raise the quality of their health and vitality. Practitioners of Chinese medicine operate with prevention in mind, attempting to correct small energetic imbalances before they become big health concerns.
Are there side effects?
When performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner, acupuncture is safe and effective, free from adverse or addictive side effects. Quite often a sense of relaxation and well-being occur during and after treatments. While undergoing therapy for one ailment, other problems may resolve concurrently.
What are the limits of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs?
Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture are powerful healing tools, but they are not the solution to every health care problem. Both Western and Chinese medicine have their respective strengths and weaknesses, which is why at our clinic we help our clients to get the best out of both methodologies.
Generally speaking, acute, life-threatening conditions are best handled by Western medical doctors. The day to day health problems and all chronic conditions often benefit greatly from acupuncture and herbal therapies.
What should I ask the practitioner I am considering?
Always ask any practitioner about the extent of his or her training. Have them explain the difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine in language that makes sense to you. A skilled practitioner will have a detailed knowledge of how the two systems interact and will be able to provide you with information both from an energetic and physiological point of view.
Chinese medicine has its limitations just as Western medicine does. Look for practitioners who know their limitations and have referral networks to take care of your health in ways they cannot.
Ask them about previous experience with conditions similar to your own. Although it is difficult to forecast response to treatments, ask about the signs and changes that the practitioner looks for to confirm that treatments are progressing well.?Inquire about what therapies will be used and why. Practitioners should be able to explain any procedure they perform.
What does a consultation involve?
Any consultation whether it be the initial visit or a follow-up includes a discussion of how you have been feeling and getting caught up on your medical history. Checking the quality and nature of the pulses, looking at the shape and color of the tongue, palpation of the abdomen, channels, and acu-points are all things that need to be accomplished at the beginning of any consultation. After which treatment will be suggested and performed accordingly.
How long is the visit?
Usually the first visit is the longest in order to allow for a complete medical history taking and exam – typically about 90 minutes. Follow-up visits are shorter, usually 20 to 60 minutes depending on practitioner and patient needs. Sometimes other therapies such as moxibustion, stretching, cupping, massage are incorporated into the treatment protocol, with little change to the overall length of the treatment time.
Don’t the needles hurt?
Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless. The sensations that follow range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All these sensations usually subside once the needles are removed. The needles used for acupuncture are very small, do not draw blood and are solid, not hollow.
Is it safe?
If performed by a qualified, conscientious practitioner, yes. Licensed Acupuncturists know the human anatomy well and insert needles in a safe fashion. The needles used at every treatment are all pre-sterilized and disposed after a single use.
We as practitioners are well aware of the concern over infectious diseases and take every measure to ensure cleanliness as all health care professionals do.
Bleeding rarely occurs, unless done so on purpose in specific therapeutic situations and even then the amount is minimal and in no way dangerous.
Is there a minimum age for children?
The answer to this is that it depends on the child and the condition. We have given children acupuncture that have been just days old, though in such cases the infants are generally quite sick. Acupuncture for children under a year old is not the first thing that we recommend, as there are other alternatives like pediatric massage and simple herbal remedies and tinctures. These can usually manage most problems very effectively without the need for an acupuncture treatment. If acupuncture is suggested the treatment protocol for children is very difficult than for adults. Very few points are used, usually between 3-5 points and the needles are inserted and then immediately removed. The reason for this is that children are very dynamic and tend to respond very quickly to acupuncture, therefore they need very little stimulation and very few treatments to get well.
How would I know if acupuncture would help my child?
At our clinic we see a great number of children for a great variety of disorders. Some of the most common include:
• Colds Anxiety
• Teething ADD
• Fevers Tonsillitis
• Flu Ear infections
• Allergies Diarrhea
• Constipation Cough
• Insomnia Irritability
• Digestive problems
If you have any questions about whether acupuncture and herbs would help your child please feel free to give us a call at 512-452-1410.